How to Thread the Bobbin on a Kenmore Sewing Machine

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Things You'll Need

  • Model number of your sewing machine

  • Manual for your particular model, or free diagrams available online

Kenmore sewing machines have been sold at Sears for decades. Current conventional models spotlight high-tech features for two tasks that strained the eyes and the patience of users in the past: threading the needle and threading the bobbin. If you don't have a newer model with the drop-in bobbin, there's plenty of help available on the Web to find how to thread the bobbin on a Kenmore sewing machine the old-fashioned way.


Step 1

Find your machine's model number. Threading the bobbin varies depending on the model of sewing machine that you have. The Kenmore model number typically is on the back of the machine, to the left of the stitch-width selector (in the area where the light is) or below the detachable machine bed. It has three digits and a dot followed by four or more digits, such as 385.1254180. The Sewing Educational Warehouse, at the link in the Resources, has photographs of these areas. Once you have the model number, you can purchase a manual online or find free diagrams for basics such as threading the bobbin at a site like Sew USA. The models in a three-digit series are similar; the Kenmore 158.1340 and the Kenmore 158.1355 have the same basic instructions for winding and threading the bobbin.

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Step 2

If you can't find the model number, here's a general overview of threading the bobbin. Older Kenmore models like those cited in Step 1 don't access the bobbin and the bobbin case through the top, near the presser foot. You have to remove the extension table by sliding it to the left and flipping the shuttle cover down toward you. Once you've opened the shuttle cover, rotate the hand wheel toward you to raise the needle out of the way to its highest position.


Step 3

Pull on the latch of the bobbin case, lift the whole case out of the shuttle and release the latch. The bobbin should spring free. Load a bobbin wound with fresh thread by sliding it into the bobbin case with the thread running clockwise. Feed the thread through the slot in the case and pull the thread under the tension spring, drawing out about 3 to 4 inches of slack.


Step 4

Holding the latch of the bobbin case open, position the case into the shuttle and release it to lock into place. Depending on your model, you might have to slide the bobbin case along a spindle and align it with a groove before releasing the latch.

Step 5

Raise the presser foot and hold a length of thread from the needle loosely. Crank the hand wheel slowly to dip the needle into the throat plate. Tug on the end of the thread that you're holding from the needle and pick up the thread from the bobbin. Pull both threads to the back of the presser foot. Lower the presser foot before sewing.


Make sure the needle is threaded from front to back and that the thread isn’t tangled around the needle.


Be sure the bobbin thread isn’t tangled when loading the bobbin into the bobbin case or the shuttle.


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